Images from last year's LJMU and JMSU Black History Month event: Black-owned, Black-created, Black Excellence: Food, Art and Activism
It is essential that LJMU commemorates and celebrates the significant contributions of people from the Black community to the history of Black people globally.
We caught up with our LJMU Equality team to find out, what is Black History Month, why it is so important in 2022, and how our community can get involved in events here at LJMU.
What is Black History Month?
Founded in the UK in 1987, Black History Month is an opportunity to remember, promote and celebrate the contributions of Black people to British society. This celebration also fosters an understanding of Black history in general. Here in the UK, Black History Month is in October, even though it is a tradition imported from America, where it is celebrated in February. Black History needs celebrating as Black peoples’ contributions are often omitted from public debate and when discussed, the focus is often on household names of the American Civil Rights Movement such as Martin Luther King, Julian Bond, and Booker T. Washington. However, fewer are familiar with UK’s own journey towards racial equality as championed by the likes of Paul Stephenson, who in 1963 took on a Bristol Bus company for refusing to employ Black people; or Altheia Jones-LeCointe who also in the 1960s was involved in activism and the fight against racial injustices. Important as these contributions were to Black History, there is the need for a balanced historical coverage that also considers the vibrant cultures and customs within the Black community.
Why is Black History Month so important?
Black History Month is so important because it marks the diverse histories, rich cultures, customs, food, music and many more heritage of the Diaspora. As a national celebration it affords the opportunity to acknowledge, promote and celebrate the breadth of black history. It has become an important date in the cultural calendar of UK Universities, local authorities, as well as private / public and voluntary sector organisations. Why not get involved in this years’ celebration by engaging in the activities happening around Liverpool as listed below. It should prove a useful learning opportunity.
How to get involved with Black History Month events across LJMU and Liverpool
At LJMU this year, the EDI Team’s event to mark Black History Month will take place on 16th November 2022. Afterall, Black people need to be celebrated every day and every month and not just in October:
Inclusivity Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Next steps for tangible inclusion event will be opened with an address by Professor Mark Power, the LJMU Vice-Chancellor and Joanne Anderson, the Mayor of Liverpool, followed by a line-up of illustrious speakers:
- Chris Lubbe, Nelson Mandela’s former bodyguard
- Anyika Onuoura , Team GB Global Sprint Medalist, and writer of the popular book ‘My Hidden Race’. Anyika is also LJMU honorary fellow.
- Professor Jason Arday, the youngest black Professor in the UK
- David Mba, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise, University of the Arts London
When: Wednesday 16th November 10.30am – 13.00
Where: Student Life Building, LJMU
Other ways to celebrate Black History Month
LJMU and JMSU’s Let’s Talk Hair Campaign:
Don’t forget to look out for the LJMU and JMSU ‘Let’s Talk Hair’ campaign on the LJMU digital screens! LJMU will soon be adopting the Halo Code as a way in taking a stand to ensure that no member of our community faces barriers or judgments because of their Afro-textured hair. You can find out more about the Halo Code here: https://halocollective.co.uk/halo-workplace/
Events for Students:
Students can also view all the Black History Month events happening with John Moores Students Union on the JMSU events page including Antislavery Day: Liverpool’s Dark History walk and Don’t Touch My Hair event.
Whether you choose to delve into Anyika Onuora new book, dancing the night away at Blackfest, or perusing the National Museums in Liverpool; there's so much to do across Liverpool to celebrate. Visit Culture Liverpool to see what’s going on across the city or Liverpool Museums.
For more information about Black History Month or Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity-related matters, email: firstname.lastname@example.org